The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has reiterated determination of Africa Union on the possibility of having zero hunger in the next nine years, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The NEPAD Agency’s CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, gave this indication on the premise of the goals set in the 2014 Malabo Declaration through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), is ending hunger in Africa by 2025.
Speaking in Pretoria, South Africa at the unveiling of the Zero hunger in Africa by 2025 in collaboration Pardee Center for International Futures, he noted that nearly one in five people is hungry, even as hunger has decreased steadily since the mid-1990s, due to population growth, but has actually increased in absolute numbers.
In addition, Mayaki said, net food imports since the early 1990s have grown to about 14 per cent of the total demand, maintaining that one of the goals set in the 2014 Malabo Declaration through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), is ending hunger in Africa by 2025.
He emphasised that success in Africa will therefore be through regional integration, be it in ending hunger, agriculture or infrastructure, highlighting the major levers in policies, investments, technologies as well as human and institutional capacities necessary to sustain desired levels of supply and demand-access to food.
“We cannot continue doing business as we are doing it today, since growth in Africa has not been inclusive enough. We need improved capacity to implement various interventions to do things differently if we are to deliver on Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the goal of eliminating hunger by 2025,” Dr. Mayaki underscored.
Dr Lindiwe Sibanda , CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), noted that hunger affects women and children disproportionately, while women are the backbone of agriculture in Africa.
“The face of hunger in Africa is that 32 percent of under-5 children are stunted – the numbers have stagnated instead of going down. If the cognitive capacity of children in Africa is reduced for life, who are the future leaders for the continent? Agriculture needs to be more nutrition sensitive. Hidden hunger challenges are therefore critical and need to be addressed,” Dr. Sibanda said.
Speaking at the same event, Lynette Chen, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation also maintained that food security and the trajectory of economic growth need to be balanced with nutrition sensitive agriculture.
During the launch of the report on ending hunger in Africa, it was recognised that while the goal of eliminating hunger by 2025 might be very ambitious, it is not impossible. Steve Hedden, Research System Developer from Pardee Center maintained that how we define hunger will dictate how we get there and how we reach our targets.
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